Defense rests without calling Jerry Sandusky to witness stand
Bellefonte, PA, United States (AHN Sports) – The much-awaited testimony of Jerry Sandusky did not happen as the defense rested its case Wednesday without calling the former Penn State football assistant coach to the stand.
The defense earlier said Sandusky will testify on his behalf to rebut allegations that he sexually abused 10 boys over 15 years but many were taken by surprise when it abruptly ended the trial on its seventh day.
If the jury finds him guilty on all 51 counts of child abuse, Sandusky will likely spend the rest of his life behind bars.
The defense suddenly requested a recess while presenting the testimony of its witness, David Hilton. After a long break, during which both legal team joined Judge John Cleland in his chambers, the defense announced that it was done with presentation of evidence.
With the prosecution offering no rebuttal witnesses, Judge Cleland scheduled the closing arguments for the case Thursday.
Hilton was testifying that he spent a lot of time with Sandusky as a youth. He said he spent many nights at the Sanduskys’ home but that nothing inappropriate ever happened.
But Hilton was surprised when he was asked whether he was aware that uncle had called the defense team Tuesday. Sandusky attorney Karl Rominger then asked for a recess.
In another surprise announcement, Judge Cleland said that one of the jurors had taken ill and was being replaced by an alternate.
Then, he announced that lawyers for both sides had agreed to stipulate that Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Sara Ganim, who broke the Sandusky story, had helped the mother of one of Sandusky’s alleged victims find an investigator.
The defense said investigators and journalists in Pennsylvania started with the premise that Sandusky was guilty of abusing young boys and ignored evidence of his innocence.
Ganim, of the Harrisburg Patriot-News, broke the news that a grand jury was investigating Sandusky. She was called under subpoena by the defense.
The newspaper sought to quash the subpoena, saying Ganim has right to protect her sources, but Cleland turned down the motion.
The defense also presented Jonathan Dranov, a friend of the family of Michael McQueary, the former Penn State assistant coach who testified last week that he saw Sandusky in a football locker room shower with a young boy.
McQueary testified said he didn’t explicitly see any intercourse, but he said he had no doubt that it was occurring because of the relative positions of Sandusky and the boy and the sounds they were making.
Dranov testified that that he was present at a conversation at which McQueary recounted the alleged incident. He said that McQueary didn’t describe having directly seen any sex act.
“I kept saying, ‘What did you see?’” Dranov testified. “Each time, he would come back to the sounds. It just seemed to make him more upset, so I backed off that.”
During cross examination, prosecutors asked Dranov to describe McQueary’s demeanor, he said the former Penn State starting quarterback was visibly upset.
”His voice was trembling. His hands were shaking. He was visibly shaken,” Dranov said.